Crowther Memorial Junior High School (CMJHS) should be seeing more books coming through its doors thanks to the efforts of Lindsay Walker who teaches grade 7 and grade 8 language arts.

Walker explains how she was granted the money to help improve her students' reading skills.

“The Book Love Foundation Classroom Library grants is money provided to teachers to grow their classroom library to inspire a love of independent reading for students. I applied for it, I had to answer a bunch of different questions, show the work that I'm currently doing in my room to promote reading with my students, and I needed two recommendation letters and I got one from my principal Linda Tucker, and I got one from one of my students.”

Out of 160 applicants, Walker and her classroom were one of the 55 chosen classrooms set to receive the funding.

Walker aims to put the money towards improving both her students reading comprehension and they’re understanding of the world

“I want to add more graphic novels for students, and I want to add more high-interest books for boys because I find that my most reluctant readers are male. So I want to increase that, as well as continuing to buy books that showcase diversity in everybody.  Making sure I have lots of social justice books, books by Black authors, Latino authors, Asian authors, Indigenous authors, LBGTQ2S plus authors, and making sure everybody can see themselves in a book. And if they aren't, they're able to develop understanding and empathy by reading those books.”

Some of the books on Walker's list include but are not limited to: The Heartstopper graphic novel series, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Cemetery Boys, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, Surviving The City, Blast Map Maker, Chlorine Sky and last but not least Out of my Mind and Out of my Heart.

Walker hopes that these new additions to her library give students more choices for reading material and more options if they forget their books or are looking for a new reading experience.

“I want to continue to develop readers in my students, especially in those that don't identify themselves as readers. For every student to find a book that they want to read I believe that when kids say they don't like reading or reading is boring, they just haven't found the right book for them.  So I'm hoping that this will inspire those kids to find the right book and for those who already like reading to feel that they have more choice and more access to books.”

With her motivation and skills as a teacher, it isn't hard to see Walker succeeding in her goal of creating more active readers at CMJHS. Hopefully, with an extra $1000 going towards that goal, Walker's classroom will begin to foster the same love of reading that their teacher provided them with across both the school and the community at large